We present a new optical design for see-through near-eye displays that is simple, compact, varifocal, and provides a wide field of view with clear peripheral vision and large eyebox. Key to this effort is a novel see-through rear-projection screen. We project an image to the see-through screen using an off-axis path, which is then relayed to the user’s eyes through an on-axis partially-reflective magnifying surface. Converting the off-axis path to a compact on-axis imaging path simplifies the optical design. We establish fundamental trade-offs between the quantitative parameters of resolution, field of view, and the form-factor of our design. We demonstrate a wearable binocular near-eye display using off-the-shelf projection displays, custom- designed see-through spherical concave mirrors, and see-through screen designs using either custom holographic optical elements or polarization- selective diffusers.
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